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Old 13.03.2015, 14:36
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Need rabbit advice

Hi all, haven't posted in ages. But back with a question.
We have a bit of a dilemma regarding a small rabbit we found on Monday. We have reported her to the lost pets number and asked to hold on to her until the owners show up. After a trip to the vet, we found out her front teeth are crooked and wearing unevenly, and our vet recommended she be put to sleep, as this can lead to very expensive and very painful problems for the rabbit. This seems harsh.
Does anyone have any experience with this?
As the rabbit is not ours, I don't feel right putting her to sleep. I also feel guilty dumping the problem on the tierheim.
I would happily keep her, but I just don't know enough about rabbits yet to make an informed decision. We are a dog family, but I'm open to the idea of becoming a responsible rabbit family too. (Including finding her a companion, buying the right equipment and learning how to care for her)
Awaiting your tips (and inevitable "cook it" suggestions)
Thanks
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Old 13.03.2015, 14:44
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Poor little rabbit I guess it's up to you as the vets bills (esp in CH) might be expensive and you'll have to buy a hutch and food etc. I used to have rabbits when I was a child and they don't take much looking after. They lived happily enough in their hutch in the garden but I guess UK winters are not as harsh as Swiss ones. Maybe you could give it away to someone who already has some rabbits all the best with it.


p.s. don't eat it
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Old 13.03.2015, 14:49
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Re: Need rabbit advice

There are a number of options:

your dog + rabbit = solution

rabbit + companion = exponential growth

rabbit + a child = expensive medical bills for the rabbit

rabbit + Christmas = you know that solution
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Old 13.03.2015, 14:53
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Do they not file the teeth down to make life better for the bunny? And then afterwards with the proper food bunny can eat and live.
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:02
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Re: Need rabbit advice

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They lived happily enough in their hutch in the garden but I guess UK winters are not as harsh as Swiss ones.
Swiss winters are pretty mild unless you live at 2000m.

Our rabbits lived outside year round, even in the snow and ice.

Tom
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:07
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Re: Need rabbit advice

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Swiss winters are pretty mild unless you live at 2000m.

Our rabbits lived outside year round, even in the snow and ice.

Tom
Ours too and the guinea pigs as well. You just have to remember to thaw out their water bottles in the mornings and they're fine.

We had a rabbit with crooked teeth and she lived to be nine years old. Maybe there were less severely crooked than the OP's bunny but the vet never suggested to us that it would be best to put her to sleep.
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:12
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Two dogs, one cat and four rabbits family, here.

As soon as you can, you should give the rabbit some wood to chew on - a 'green' fruit tree or willow branch is best. Rabbits need to chew wood to keep their teeth from getting too long and maintaining them in good condition.

Landi is your one-stop store for equipment and food - much cheaper than pet stores, when it comes to hutches and runs.

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Swiss winters are pretty mild unless you live at 2000m.

Our rabbits lived outside year round, even in the snow and ice.

Tom
Ours did come in at night during the winter. Although overall altitude is not high, we are on a hill and open to the cold 'Bise', plus someone in the neighbourhood, apparently, once lost rabbits to a marder attack.

Unfortunately, it's a bad habit, that I would like to break, but am unlikely to beat down three anxious females.
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:35
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Re: Need rabbit advice

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someone in the neighbourhood, apparently, once lost rabbits to a marder attack
We lost two to martens, the third one was able to fight them off (4kg and aggressive, the other two were 1.5 kg each and not aggressive).

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You just have to remember to thaw out their water bottles in the mornings and they're fine.
We just swapped them every morning.



Tom
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:43
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Re: Need rabbit advice

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We lost two to martens, the third one was able to fight them off (4kg and aggressive, the other two were 1.5 kg each and not aggressive).

Tom
Ours are dwarf rabbits, and even the 'bruvvers' who can be quite feisty, probably wouldn't stand a chance against a fierce little carnivore.

I've secured the door fastenings and am happy with the overall hutch security, but a hungry marder could probably gnaw a small hole, sufficient to get through, in the wood sides, in no time - although the ones lost nearby, weren't eaten, but just decapitated for fun.
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Old 13.03.2015, 15:47
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Re: Need rabbit advice

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the ones lost nearby, weren't eaten, but just decapitated for fun.
They don't eat them, just suck them dry.

Foxes eat them.

Our survivor went to the vet, who determined that the attacker was a marten by the very deep wounds, and put her on antibiotic injections for a week (during which time we kept her on the balcony).

Tom
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Old 13.03.2015, 17:52
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Re: Need rabbit advice

I can't advise on the teeth issue, but you do need to understand the law.

When you find a pet animal, a 60 day Frist starts on the day you report the find to the cantonal Meldstelle. In that 60 days, while you have a duty of care to provide necessary treatment (or take the animal to a cantonal Tierheim if you cannot afford to do so), you do not have full legal standing to make decisions such as euthanising the animal. Makes sense, as you are not the owner (yet) of the animal. The decision to end a pet animal's life can only be made by the legal owner, a veterinarian, or a designated official.

If during the 60 day waiting period the animal is suffering and cannot be treated a vet may decide that euthanization is the only recourse. A vet is granted that legal authority under animal welfare law.

Although you are not the legal owner during the Frist, by asking to keep the animal with you you have taken on the duty of care and so are responsible for costs incurred on your authority. If the owner is eventually found you may ask that the owner repay your costs, but the owner might not be required to do so.

In the case where a finder cannot take on the cost, the animal should be taken to a Tierheim.

After the 60 day Frist expires if the owner has not claimed the animal legal ownership can be transferred to another party. It is only at this point that you, should you decide to adopt the animal, may authorize euthanization.

-----

We're it me, I'd seek the advice from a vet or a Tierheim specializing in rabbits and take it from there.

Sorry for my geographic ignorance, but I don't know where Bottmingen is. But if anywhere near Cham ZG, Dr Isabel Zulauf, the 'exotics' specialist at MyVets (www.myvets.ch) is one choice, or in Zurich the Nagerstation (www.nagerstation.ch), a Tierheim for small furries, highly knowledgeable folks, would also be a possibility. The Nagerstation have a Beratungstelefon, a help line. Perhaps calling them simply for advice would be a good first move.

Kudos to you for trying to help this bunny...and hoping for the best for the critter.

-----

(Yes, I know that many finders and even a few vets don't follow the law. But all finders should think how you would feel if someone found your pet and euthanized him while you were desperately searching for him. That's why the Frist is written into law.)

Last edited by meloncollie; 13.03.2015 at 20:39. Reason: Autocorrect fail ;-)
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Old 13.03.2015, 21:39
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Thanks to all of you.

I took the rabbit to another vet this afternoon--one more small animal friendly--and he suggested that with regular teeth trimmings, she should lead a happy, normal life. This comes at a cost, but one that I think is reasonable to save this wee bunny.

So after research and long discussion, we have decided to keep her--unless her owners show up within the sixty days.

I will be off to Landi tomorrow, I think.
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Old 13.03.2015, 21:42
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Excellent, good luck.
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Old 14.03.2015, 14:28
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Re: Need rabbit advice

I am not a rabbit specialist either, but the vet's decision to put the animal to sleep was IMO a heartless one. Because its teeth are crooked? Seriously? Why so many people are willing to kill an animal because it's just easier ?

Duh!
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Old 16.03.2015, 15:43
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Regular teeth trimming is a possibility, but it would probably be better for the rabbit to pull out all 6 front teeth, unless the vet thinks they can correct the angle of the teeth progressively. With regular trimming, you run the risk of creating micro fissures in the teeth that can run straight to the root, which comes with a high risk of infection. If you do decide to go with the trimming, make sure they file the teeth and don't actually clip them ;-)

Here's a very good website about rabbit health: http://www.medirabbit.com/
And here's the website of the Rabbit Welfare Association, in the UK, they have good information in English: http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/index.php

If you read French, I have other good information sources
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Old 16.03.2015, 17:00
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Re: Need rabbit advice

Thanks, kally, for the information. I'll check out those websites. And I will find a vet who files rather than trims the teeth.
I appreciate the help.
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Old 13.04.2015, 22:38
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Re: Need rabbit advice

How's the little bunny doing?
I had a bunny when younger that needing regular teeth trimming and he was a very happy bunny Did you find a companion?
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Old 14.04.2015, 08:26
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Re: Need rabbit advice

The bunny (Hufflepuff) is doing well. She doesn't have a friend yet, but we have seen a possible match at the tierheim and hopefully she will be paired up soon. She's got a new, enormous hutch and is gradually transitioning to living outside. She still gets lots of visitors--the neighborhood kids love her--and has a pretty interesting life for a bunny. We are really enjoying her.
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